The mayor of Aleppo has hit out at the international community for failing to halt government and Russian airstrikes on the city.

His criticism followed a UN warning that Aleppo could be completely destroyed before Christmas if the onslaught continues.

Brita Haj Hassan told Sky News: We consider the international community as partners in these war crimes.

There is a holocaust going on in Aleppo right now. Aleppo is burning and the international community is just watching and doing nothing.

On Wednesday an airstrike hit the biggest market in the rebel-held eastern side of the city, reportedly killing at least 15 people and levelling buildings.

It happened as rescuers were still sifting through the rubble from air raids that killed dozens the day before.

A doctor who runs a clinic in the market area said it was not clear what the aircraft were trying to achieve.

Many stores totally disappeared. I can’t find a trace of a mini-market I used to buy things from, she said.

She said at least five buildings were destroyed, adding: The destruction is horrible. The rubble has piled up and the roads are cut.

:: Fear of Islamic State has become cast-iron excuse to bomb Aleppo

The latest airstrikes have shattered a three-day lull in the area, where hospitals, underground shelters and buildings had been targeted for weeks.

On Tuesday, Russian or Syrian aircraft bombed several neighbourhoods, killing at least 41 people, including five children, according to the Syrian Civil Defence and the activist-run Aleppo Media Centre.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 358 civilians have died in eastern Aleppo since the US and Russian-brokered truce collapsed on 19 September.

The United Nations says more than 100 children have been killed in the campaign, which has also included a limited ground offensive.

The child victims include the brothers of a young girl named Amina, who blamed Syrian president Bashar al Assad for their deaths.

Amina was playing hopscotch in the street at the time of the airstrikes but escaped with relatively minor injuries.

Asked if she had a message for the Syrian leader, she replied: Yes, I do. I’ll tell God not to help him for what he did to us. God shouldn’t support Bashar.

Amid the gloom, there was one piece of good news: amateur video showed a boy being pulled from the rubble in the al Fardos neighbourhood.

Last week, the UN special envoy to Syria warned that eastern Aleppo could be totally destroyed in just 10 weeks

Staffan de Mistura said that cruel, constant military activity meant that thousands of citizens were likely to be killed.

The besieged population of 275,000 – including 100,000 children – is in desperate need of food, water and medical supplies.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has called for demonstrations outside the Russian embassy over its bombing operation in Syria. 

But Moscow hit back on Wednesday, saying his claims that it had attacked an aid convoy amounted to Russophobic hysteria.

:: Aleppo: Death of a City – special coverage all day on Thursday on Sky News.


(c) Sky News 2016: Aleppo mayor blames West for doing nothing over ‘holocaust’ in city